Gerard Gallant doesn’t sugar coat. He hasn’t in the past and he didn’t after the first 20 games of this season. So far, he isn’t impressed with his team’s start.
No not really. I feel we haven’t played as good this year. Last year we were missing some key people and we were treading water a little bit and then we took off at the 20 game mark last year. No, this year I think we haven’t played as well in every game and a little more inconsistent. -Gallant
It’s way, way too early to panic. Vegas’ roster is incredibly talented and the team will have plenty of time to perfect their game before the postseason. However, if we’re calling out poor play, the first quarter of the season left a lot to be desired. Sure, Vegas has four more points through 20 games this season, but there are areas of concern.
↑ Up from last year
↓ Down from last year
VGK 2019-20 First 20 Games: 9-8-3 (21 Points) ↑
55 Goals For ↑/61 Goals Allowed ↓
-5 Goal Differential ↑
9 Games of 2 or less Goals Scored (2-6-1) ↑
5-4-2 in games against Playoff teams ↑
4-4-1 in games against Non Playoff teams ↓
6 Victories by 2 or more goals ↑
6 Losses by 2 or more goals ↑
3-2-3 in one goal games ↓
Longest win streak: 2 ↓
Longest losing steak: 4 ↓
VGK 2018-19 First 20 Games: (8-11-1) 17 Points
50 Goals For/56 Goals Allowed
-6 Goal Differential
12 Games of 2 or less Goals Scored (2-9-1)
(1-8) in games against Playoff teams
(7-3-1) in games against Non Playoff teams
5 Victories by 2 or more goals
9 Losses by 2 or more goals
(3-2-1) in one goal games
Longest win streak: 3 games
Longest losing steak: 3 games
Last season the Golden Knights had 12 games in which they scored 2 or fewer goals, which was a major reason why they struggled out of the gate. To start 2019-20 Vegas has had 9 games in which they couldn’t muster up enough offense. You could make excuses for last season, but when the team adds Mark Stone to the mix it’s hard to comprehend why they’ve scored so little.
Another puzzling area of concern for the Golden Knights is their poor play against inferior opponents. In 2018-19, Vegas mopped up on non-playoff teams early, going 7-3-1 in their first 20 games. This season the Golden Knights are 4-4-1, and realistically their record could be worse. Remember that game in Chicago?
Also, Vegas is 3-2-3 in one-goal games in 2019-20. At first glance, 9 points in 8 games, not bad. Realistically, the coaching staff looks at that record, cringes, and sees six lost points. Overtime losses earn a point but they still count in a losing streak, which the Golden Knights are on a four-game losing streak. The 2018-19 team only lost three in a row in their first 20.
So does Gallant have a reason to be upset with his club’s start? Sure, but we also know how reasonable can be. Will you be shocked when Vegas rattles off 5, 6, 7 wins in row? Gallant won’t be.